Fall 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 2007 |

At Times a Man Growing Old

At times a man growing old plays with a knife On its edge the stars shake pitifully Perhaps he loves this more than anything in the world because it can inflict severe wounds on time If he turns the night darker and the silence deeper it's because the wind doesn't like him touching it and because the earth is afraid at the power of his feeling A man growing older is lost in all the forces he thinks he knows everything about and in all the hungers that have sucked away his tenderness It gets lonely when the rain doesn't wet him Lonelier too when he can't find his way out of this hour where sleep cannot reach Memory's thousand shapes seek him out: an old letter from a girl long gone is a door into the world of nightmares Because he is afraid of what he wants to bring into being And when the man growing old plucks a flower he is surprised at the little darkness limping out of the bushes Shadows pass through him And on the edge of the knife the bewildered light merely appears t

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Author of sixteen collections of poetry, Jayanta Mahapatra’s latest volume is titled Bare Face. He has read his poetry around the world and is widely anthologized. He edits the literary periodical Chandrabhaga. His recent work has appeared in the Sewanee Review.

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By Jayanta Mahapatra

At times a man growing old plays with a knife On its edge the stars shake pitifully Perhaps he loves this more than anything in the world because it can […]

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